Today, we are at a crossroads, whereby continued advances in computerization and digitalization are bringing significant transformative changes that will impact society worldwide, revolutionizing global business operations and fundamentally altering how inanimate objects are perceived in a world increasingly reliant on autonomous systems. A key outcome of this transformation will be a notable shift in the interaction of previously independent systems, including humans, and an increased awareness and responsiveness to autonomous systems that will lead to the development of symbiotic relationships that have significant implications for human society as a whole. The IEEE Symbiotic Autonomous Systems (SAS) Initiative aims to take a leadership role in fostering consensus on how best to bring about symbiotic relationships between autonomous systems, and capitalize on the recognition that Symbiotic Autonomous Systems are poised to have a revolutionary impact on society over the coming years. Collaborating with IEEE communities and global organizations conducting ongoing efforts in the area of autonomous and intelligent systems, the Initiative will pave the way for the development of a new field of symbiotic systems science to consolidate and advance technological expertise with emphasis on ethical, societal, legal implications, and with the objective to promote human-centric economic growth.

We have recently released a comprehensive White Paper outlining our thoughts and direction. The White Paper provides an overview of the enabling technologies and their evolution, provides examples of impact in a number of verticals, and highlights ethical, legal, and societal implications.
The White Paper is available here: 
https://symbiotic-autonomous-systems.ieee.org/images/files/pdf/sas-white-paper-final-nov12-2017.pdf

The SAS Initiative is looking for interested RAS folks to join the effort.
Please send an email to <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.

More information on this initiative can be found here: https://symbiotic-autonomous-systems.ieee.org

 

Congratulations to the following RAS Members - elevated to IEEE Fellow grade, effective 1 January 2018!

 

2018 RAS Fellows evaluated by the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society

Pieter Abbeel - University of California, Berkeley, USA
"For contributions to apprenticeship and reinforcement learning for robotics and autonomous systems"
Hajime Asama - University of Tokyo, Japan
"For contributions to distributed autonomous robotic systems"
Oliver Brock - Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
"For contributions to mobile manipulation and grasping"
Jian Dai - King's College London, United Kingdom
"For contributions to reconfigurable and metamorphic mechanisms"
Jaydev Desai - Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
"For contributions to medical and swarm robotics"
Maria Gini - University of Minnesota, USA
"For contributions to multi-agent programming in robotics"
David Hsu - National University of Singapore, Singapore
"For contributions to robot motion planning"
Lynette Jones - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
"For contributions to tactile and thermal displays"
Shugen Ma - Ritsumeikan University, Japan
"For contributions to the design and control of environment-adaptive robots"
Kazuhiro Saitou - University of Michigan, USA
"For contributions in computational assembly and disassembly design of mechanical products"
Siddhartha Srinivasa - University of Washington, USA
"For contributions to robotic manipulation and human-robot interaction"
Jocelyne Troccaz - Université Grenoble Alpes, France
"For contributions to robotics and imaging for medical applications"

 

2018 RAS Fellows evaluated by other IEEE Societies

Evaluated by the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society:
Erik Blasch - US Air Force Research Lab, USA
"For leadership in aerospace information fusion systems"
Evaluated by the IEEE Computer Society:
Peter Stone - University of Texas at Austin, USA
"For contributions to reinforcement learning, multiagent systems, and robotics"
Evaluated by the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society:
Haibo He - University of Rhode Island, USA
"For contributions to adaptive learning"
Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Mark Campbell - Cornell University, USA 
"For contributions to control and estimation theory for autonomous systems"
Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Jonathan How - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA 
"For contributions to guidance and control of air and space vehicles"
Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Sonia Martinez - University of California, San Diego, USA 
"For contributions to the geometric mechanics and control"
Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Silviu-Iulian Niculescu - The Laboratoire des Signaux et Systèmes, France
"For research on the effects of delays in system dynamics"
Evaluated by the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society:
Wen-Hua Chen - Loughborough University, United Kingdom
"For contributions to the applications of nonlinear disturbance observer based control"
Evaluated by the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society:
Shuji Tanaka - Tohoku University, Japan
"For contributions to micro-electromechanical systems for acoustic wave devices, physical sensors, and power generation"

Congratulations to the six RAS members elected by the membership to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2018. We wish the newly elected members of the Administrative Committee success and thank all candidates for their willingness to serve and for permitting their names to be included on the ballot. 

AdCom Members Elected at Large

Minoru Asada portrait
Minoru Asada
AdCom Member Elected at Large
Osaka University
Osaka, Japan
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Maria Pia Fanti portrait
Maria Pia Fanti
AdCom Member Elected at Large
Polytechnic of Bari
Bari, Italy
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AdCom Members from RAS Geographic Area 1 (the Americas):

Richard Vaughan portrait
Richard Vaughan
RAS Geographic Area 1
Simon Fraser University
British Columbia, Canada
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Jing Xiao portrait
Jing Xiao
RAS Geographic Area 1
University of North Carolina
Charlotte (NC), United States
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RAS Geographical Area 2 (Europe, Africa, Middle East--IEEE Region 8):

Tamim Asfour portrait
Tamim Asfour
RAS Geographic Area 2
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Karlsruhe, Germany
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AdCom Member from RAS Geographical Area 3 (Asia, Australia, Pacific Rim):

Zhidong Wang portrait
Zhidong Wang
RAS Geographic Area 3
Chiba Institute of Technology
Chiba, Japan
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Deadline to vote is 25 October 2017!

RAS members are voting to elect six new members of the RAS Administrative Committee to serve 3-year terms beginning 1 January 2018. All RAS members (Graduate Student Members and above) have received voting instructions, the biographies, and statements of the candidates by email. RAS membership must be active as of 15 August 2017 to be eligible to vote. Members who do not have valid emails registered with the IEEE or have opted not to receive e-mail from IEEE, have received their election materials by post.

election vote button

Click here to review the candidates' bios and position statements.

CALL FOR PAPERS

IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
Special issue on: "Introspective Methods for Reliable Autonomy"
Submission deadline: 31 January 2018

AIM AND SCOPE

As humans, understanding our own limitations, failures and shortcomings is a key for improvement and development. This knowledge is crucial for altering our behaviors, e.g. to execute tasks in a more cautious way. Correspondingly, equipping robots with a set of skills that allows them to assess the quality of their sensory data, internal models, used methods etc. will greatly improve their overall performance. The problem of introspection, directly or indirectly, relates to other research topics: planning, execution monitoring, active perception and mapping. Accordingly, an improved understanding of introspection in robotics has a direct impact on a large variety of application areas (e.g. search and rescue, intralogistic, assistive robotics. The introspection impacts the most the following aspects of robotics system: safety, reliability and the maintenance costs. Information on the internal state of the robot is crucial to make decisions if it is safe to execute the assigned mission considering not only the current state of the perceived
environment, but also the internal state of the robot. Continuous monitoring of the internal state of the robot and automatic assessment can be also used to enhance the maintenance process. Information about the internal state of the robot can be used to estimate the likelihood of potential failure and tailor the efforts to prevent it or to speed up the recovery or repair process by providing detailed information to a human operator or even enable self-repair.
Introspection takes active role in the process of preventing of malfunctions of the robotic system and help to speed the repair process up. These two features have direct impact on the running cost of a robotic system. Preventing unplanned interruptions in the robot operation and shortening the time of the planned interruptions has a direct impact on the cost of robot exploitation.
It is also important to remember that introspective information is a cornerstone of all methods aiming to robotics self-improvement. It provides information crucial in the learning and development process. In this context, it is possible to draw a parallel between human and robotic system. Assessment of the internal state is important input helping to anticipate if the planned action is feasible for the agent (either human or robot). For a complex system, it is difficult to perform such assessment relying only on predefined set of rules and conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to use learning algorithms which will be able to connect the preexisting internal and external conditions with the outcome of a planned action. In such a configuration, a failure became a crucial element of a learning process of an autonomous system.
Finally, it is important to emphasis that introspection is a topic which spans across multiple fields. The introspection is originally a human ability. It is recent years when the idea of
introspection is also becoming present in the field of robotics. Therefore, to obtain a complete picture of the problem of introspection in autonomous systems it is important to have a closer look also at psychological aspect of introspection. Moreover, the impact of introspection in the context of the cognitive science cannot be overlooked.

The primary topic of this issue

How to assess the quality of internal models, methods, sensory data and the hardware used by robots and how to alter their behavior using this information?

The aim of this special issue is fourfold:

* Survey the state of the art in the field.
* Define open research questions in the field.
* Provide a venue to present the recent developments in the field of
introspection.
* Present system papers showing how introspection is integrated and
affects performance of a system.

THEMES

This special issue is addressed to researchers interested in the development of introspective methods for robust autonomy across different research areas. We expect to receive
submissions relevant for following research fields, but to name a few: Long term autonomy, safe operation of robots under uncertanity, performance awareness, reliable-aware operation, cooperative robotics, cognitive and learning robots, developmental robotics, Human-Robot Interaction. Introspection is broad term covering a set of topics.
Topics relevant to this special issue include, but are not limited to:
* Internal assessment (Map quality assessment, Perception quality
assessment, Classification quality assessment)
* Analysis (Failure analysis, Execution monitoring, Meta-reasoning)
* Introspection-related actions (Failure recovery, Reconfigurable
robots, Planning with uncertainty)

IMPORTANT DATES

31 January 2018 - Deadline for manuscript submissions.
15 May 2018 - Notification of authors
15 June 2018 - Deadline for submission of revised manuscripts
31 July 2018 - Final decisions

SUBMISSION

Manuscripts should be prepared according to the Information for Authors of the journal found at http://cis.ieee.org/ieee-transactions-on-cognitive-and-developmental-systems/131-ieee-transactions-on-autonomous-mental-development-information-for-authors.html
and submissions should be made through the IEEE TCDS Manuscript Center at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tcds-ieee selecting the category SI: Introspective Methods for Reliable Autonomy.

AIMS AND SCOPE OF THE JOURNAL

The IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems (TCDS) focuses on advances in the study of development and cognition in natural (humans, animals) and artificial (robots, agents) systems. It welcomes contributions from multiple related disciplines including cognitive systems, cognitive robotics, developmental and epigenetic robotics, autonomous and evolutionary robotics, social structures, multi-agent and artificial life systems, computational neuroscience, and developmental psychology. Articles on theoretical, computational, application-oriented, and experimental studies as well as reviews in these areas are considered.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Yaochu Jin
University of Surrey, Surrey, United Kingdom

GUEST EDITORS

Tomasz Piotr Kucner, Örebro University, Sweden
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Soren Schwertfeger, ShanghaiTech University, China
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Martin Magnusson, Örebro University, Sweden
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Achim J. Lilienthal, Örebro University, Sweden
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Rudolph Triebel, Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine seeks articles for a Special Issue on Floating-base (Aerial and Underwater) Manipulation

During the last 20 years, underwater robots have been widely used as a tool for mapping the seafloor using optical and acoustic sensors, with applications to offshore sites inspection, marine geology, underwater archaeology to mention but a few. At the same time, aerial robots are also limited to monitoring and surveillance applications, and research has mainly focused on topics such as perception and navigation. However, a large number of applications exist that go beyond the survey capabilities, and the possibility of manipulating objects with these two challenging technologies could open up an entire set of new applications.

Both underwater and aerial robots are floating-base robotic systems, and this fact makes their control different from classic ground mobile manipulators. From a research perspective, topics and issues such as coordinated control of the whole floating manipulator system, safe interaction with the environment, disturbance rejection, object perception from a floating base, are still important challenges to be solved.

This special issue will provide up-to-date results and novel advanced solutions for floating manipulation, both from the point of view of aerial and underwater fields. In particular, this issue aims to bring together two communities that have so far operated in parallel but without too much interaction, despite the similarities between the two fields.

The topics of interest for paper submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Design of aerial or underwater manipulation systems
  • Underwater/aerial hands and grippers
  • Mechatronics of manipulators optimized for floating operation
  • Coordinated control of floating base and manipulator
  • Cooperative control of multiple floating manipulators
  • Perception and precise localization for floating manipulation
  • Physical interaction of floating base manipulators
  • Techniques for assisted remote manipulation
  • Learning techniques for floating manipulation
  • Motion planning of floating manipulators
  • Fault tolerant approaches for floating manipulators
  • Any other key enabling technology for floating manipulation

Timeline

15 December 2017 - Deadline for paper submission (Extended: 1 February 2018)
August 2018 - Final notification:
December 2018 - Expected publication: 

Submission guidelines

http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/ram/information-for-authorshttp://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/ram/information-for-authors

Guest Editors

Matteo Fumagalli, Aalborg University, Denmark
Enrico Simetti, University of Genova, Italy

This one day event will be held at the National Academy of Sciences Building, Washington, DC USA on Friday, 13 October 2017

REGISTER NOW!

TechEthics HERO REG 875x250 logos

The inaugural IEEE Tech Ethics Conference features luminaries in technology, philosophy, ethics, and policy development. This highly interactive event will feature keynotes by Rodney Brooks and Danielle Bassett, multimedia showings by Heather Knight, and panels on:

  • The Social, Personal and Economic Impacts of AI
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles ... and Ships and More: How Autonomous Transportation Systems are Impacting Society
  • Will Neuroscience Research Lead to Conscious AI?
  • Influencing the Next Generation of Engineers via Ethics Education

Be part of the conversation! Join us as we explore the ethical and societal implications of technology.
For more information see: https://techethics.ieee.org/events/dc-2017

The Deadline to vote is 25 October 2017!

RAS members are voting to elect six new members of the RAS Administrative Committee to serve 3-year terms beginning 1 January 2018. All RAS members (Graduate Student Members and above) have received voting instructions, the biographies, and statements of the candidates by email. RAS membership must be active as of 15 August 2017 to be eligible to vote. Members who do not have valid emails registered with the IEEE or have opted not to receive e-mail from IEEE, have received their election materials by post.

election vote button

Use https://eballot4.votenet.com/IEEE to access the ballot and cast your vote now. If you do not remember your password, you may retrieve it on the voter login page. Voting must be completed no later than 25 October 2017. Any returns received after this date will not be counted. The online voting site will close at 4:00 pm Eastern Time.

Click here to review the candidates' bios and position statements.

If you have any questions about the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society voting process, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1 732-562-3904.

Do you have code associated with your published article? Whether your article was published recently or a few years ago, you can now get even more exposure - and credit - for your work by making the underlying code available to readers.

IEEE has partnered with Code Ocean to make this as easy as possible for you. Code Ocean’s platform enables you to upload and run your code, making it fully reproducible, executable and citable. Not only will you have the opportunity for more citations and visibility of your research, it will be easier for fellow researchers to replicate or build-upon your hard work.

Once the code is published, it will be discoverable to the larger scientific community and a new tab will automatically be added to your article page in IEEE Xplore. See how it works with this example code and associated article published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.

code ocean graphic for article.fw

What kind of code is appropriate?

From software engineering to data-intensive applications to computer science, we welcome all code from the IEEE Computer Society. The code, whether simple or complex, should be executable and produce output or results tied to the research within your article. For more questions, visit the FAQ page or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Need help in setting it up? Code Ocean’s team is ready to assist through the built-in chat.

RAS is pleased to arrange three Luncheon Networking events for our Members attending IROS 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. Space is limited for these popular events. Don't miss the chance to attend either or both because the space has been filled. Advanced registration is required. The cost is $5 per lunch. Register Now! To add these lunches to your registration, please use the "Modify your Registration" link found in your confirmation email, or click the "Already Registered?" Link on the registration website. Using your email address and confirmation number, you will then be able to modify your registration to include the event. If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RAS Women in Engineering Leadership (WIE) Luncheon

Monday, 25 September from 12:00-13:00
Room 306 of the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building (3rd floor)
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC, Canada

The Women in Engineering (WIE) luncheon provides an opportunity to foster discussion on the role of women in robotics and automation, inspire girls and promote collaborations and initiatives to advance women in leadership. As the goal for this event is to be more than a lunch for women, but a lunch with women. Therefore, men are more than welcome to participate and enjoy the discussion.

Chair: Laura Margheri, RAS Women in Engineering Committee Chair

Speaker:
Sabine Hauert

Sabine Hauert small

Sabine Hauert is Assistant Professor in Robotics at the University of Bristol in the UK. Her research focusses in designing swarms that work in large numbers (>1000), and at small scales (<1 cm). Profoundly cross-disciplinary, Sabine works between Engineering Mathematics, the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, and Life Sciences. Before joining the University of Bristol, Sabine engineered swarms of nanoparticles for cancer treatment at MIT, and deployed swarms of flying robots at EPFL.

Sabine is also President and Co-founder of Robohub.org, a non-profit dedicated to connecting the robotics community to the world.

As an expert in science communication with 10 years of experience, Sabine is often invited to discuss the future of robotics and AI, including in the journal Nature, at the European Parliament, and at the Royal Society. Her work has been featured in mainstream media including BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Economist, TEDx, WIRED, and New Scientist.

 

RAS Lunch with Leaders - LwL (for Students)

Tuesday, 26 September from 12:00 to 13:00
Room 301 of the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building (3rd floor)
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC, Canada

This luncheon is open to student attendees and offers the chance to meet and interact with RAS and Industry Leaders. Get your questions answered regarding career advice, the direction of the industry, future growth in robotics & automation, publication practices, etc. YOU decide the topic of conversation!

Chair: Megan Emmons, RAS Student Activities Chair

Confirmed Leaders include:

Satoshi Takodoro, Torsten Kroeger, Yasushi Nakauchi, Eugenio Guglielmelli, Ron Lumia, Jing Xiao, Ning Xi, Raja Chatila, David Orin, Wolfram Burgard, Nancy Amato, Antonio Bicchi, Peter Corke, Richard Vaughan, Tony Maciejewski, Bram Vandervorght and…..

 

 Young Professionals Luncheon (SOLD OUT)

Tuesday, 26 September from 12:00 to 13:00
Room 306 of the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building (3rd floor)
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC, Canada

This event aims at bringing together representatives from the organizers/winners of the recent robotic competitions and challenges, and RAS young professionals to enjoy a meal and open discussions on how robotics challenges and competitions can advance robotics research and drive forward the technology.

Chair: Arash Ajoudani, PhD. (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)

SPEAKERS

Sven Behnke, PhD. Professor, Universität Bonn
Title of the talk: “Advancing Robotics Research through Robot Competitions and Challenges”

 Sven Behnke s

Dr. Sven Behnke received his MS degree in Computer Science (Dipl.-Inform.) in 1997 from Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. In 2002, he obtained a PhD in Computer Science (Dr. rer. nat.) from Freie Universität Berlin. He spent the year 2003 as postdoctoral researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, CA. From 2004 to 2008, Professor Behnke headed the Humanoid Robots Group at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Since April 2008, he is professor for Autonomous Intelligent Systems at the University of Bonn and director of the Institute of Computer Science VI. His research interests include cognitive robotics, computer vision, and machine learning.

 

Joey Durham, PhD. Manager, AMAZON Research and Advanced Development
Title of the talk: “Grasping Innovation and the Amazon Robotics Challenge”

J Durham

Joey Durham is Manager of Research and Advanced Development at Amazon Robotics. His team focuses on resource allocation algorithms, machine learning, and path planning for robotic warehouses. He also runs the Amazon Robotics Challenge robotic manipulation contest. Joey joined Kiva Systems after completing his Ph.D. at the University of California at Santa Barbara in distributed coordination for teams of robots. He has been with the company through its acquisition and growth into Amazon Robotics. Previously he worked on path planning for autonomous vehicles at Stanford University for the DARPA Grand Challenge.

 

Fabio Bonsignorio, PhD, Biorobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy
Title of the talk: "IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine: Introducing the 'R-papers', towards Reproducible Research in robotics."

fabio bonsignorio

In the coming issue of RAM (September), we will announce a new kind of papers: the 'R-papers'.
'R' stands for 'reproducible' and this a first for the Robotics community. No other high-quality publication venue gives this (much needed) possibility.

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